University of Illinois Hospital provides quality healthcare to people of all ages on Chicago’s Lower West Side and is subject to a significant amount of traffic through its 1970s era spaces (Bertrand Goldberg, 1977). RADA Architects undertook a public spaces revitalization project to improve the wayfinding, central registration identity, and overall comfort for thousands of patients and visitors daily.
The diagnostic block on the second floor was analyzed for the several types of traffic flow, which identified three main areas: the “Main Street,” including main registration , waiting and public elevators; the Outpatient traffic spine; and Staff-only areas. For each area, RADA developed easily identifiable design cues for wayfinding including wall treatments, lighting, and flooring. To resolve existing conditions that prevent the main registration to be easily seen and found, RADA developed large-scale back-lit resin panels at critical intersections where visitors are drawn to informational guiding signage. The light green resin panels also create a unique identity for the spaces along the Main Street.